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Shopping for a New Intranet? Beware of the Buzzwords

Mike Hicks

August 6, 2019 · 3 min read

Evaluating intranet vendors isn’t easy. First, because replacing an intranet is always a multi-stage process that involves stakeholders across many teams. And second, because it can be difficult to sift through the various solutions, platforms, and technologies available on the market.

It becomes even more challenging when you have to figure out what each vendor is really talking about. The intranet space is rife with buzzwords these days. But any new intranet or intranet replacement project is a significant investment in terms of cost, resources, and time, so it demands absolute clarity.

Look past the bells and whistles

But all too often, the salesperson shifts the conversation to bells and whistles, blasting out a litany of marketing buzzwords, like ActiveRide Torque Enhance, PassengerLink RideAssist, ClimateRight LumbarTwist, or G-Force HurlPrevent™. What does it all mean, and will any of it really impact your day-to-day driving? Your eyes glaze over, you find yourself nodding and grunting. You can’t wait to leave.

Unfortunately, this is a tactic many intranet providers are using to market and sell their intranet product and features. They glamorize their offering by giving it a flashy new name and add a bunch of buzzwords to make it sound impressive, even though under the hood, everyone is talking about the same thing.

It’s an attempt to differentiate themselves without having to innovate their intranet offerings. No matter what they call it – a digital experience, destination, or engagement platform – at the end of the day, it’s still an intranet.

An intranet by any other name… would still be an intranet

There’s no question the term “intranet” doesn’t have the best reputation. In fact, most employees would probably describe their current corporate intranet as old, clunky, and seemingly impossible to use. It was most likely built and managed by a corporate group with little input or support from the executive team or employee base.

So, it’s not surprising that most intranet vendors want to distance themselves from this term. It’s a strategic marketing decision, but it can be confusing for consumers.

Intranets are strategically important and there are often big budgets involved, so it’s critical for organizations to be able to distinguish distraction tactics from what they’re actually getting – in terms of functionality, guidance, and support.

So, what’s the best way to evaluate potential intranet providers? Look for these clues:

  • Do they start by asking about your business challenges?
  • Can they share use cases from other customers they’ve helped?
  • Do they open your eyes to problems you didn’t even know you had?
  • What is their full product offering? Is it even an intranet? Or is it simply a collection of disjointed features and point apps or just another SharePoint wrapper?
  • Does it offer a full suite of solutions or is it a single application designed to serve a single purpose (e.g. instant messaging, collaboration, project management)?
  • Are you spending more time asking them to define the terms they use (i.e. does it sound like marketing fluff)?
  • Do they offer more than technology?
  • Do they help you implement, but also launch and engage users in the long term?

When you’re dealing with a project that impacts the entire organization, you can’t be too careful. Be critical, ask questions, involve the right people, and beware of any tools or products that are defined by their flashy name.

Instead, look for a solution that offers all the capabilities and functionality you’d expect from a modern-day intranet, like familiar and easy-to-use features, secure hosting, and a mobile app that enables you to log on and collaborate from anywhere.

It should have all the bells and whistles you’d expect from the latest model, but to be the best investment for your organization, you want to make sure it runs smoothly, efficiently, and gets you where you need to go.

We improve the way companies work

At Igloo, we partner with leading organizations across the world to solve their communication, collaboration, knowledge management and culture challenges by providing an industry leading intranet platform and a portfolio of digital workplace solutions. We live and breathe this stuff – and we’re busy improving the way people work each and every day.

That doesn’t give us a lot of time to sit and philosophize about what we want, fancy names we want to use to describe our technology, and our approach to customer success, and we don’t need to. Because we know the value our solutions provide, and we’re always proud (and eager) to share our success stories with organizations that are ready to take the next step in their digital transformation journey.

Learn more about what Igloo can do for you by booking a demo with a digital workplace expert.